Tag Archive | love

The best birthday present

At the weekend my mum celebrated her 60th birthday and, rather than arranging a great big party for her, which she would have hated, instead my dad chose to surprise her and booked them both into a luxury hotel in a picturesque village near Bumble and I for a few days and arranged for us to look after their 2 elderly fur-babies (Yes, my dad really does call his spaniels his fur-babies) during their stay. In order to surprise mum, my dad has had to endure her wrath over the last few weeks because he had led her to believe he had forgotten it was a milestone birthday as well as her first birthday since my nan passed away – he is a glutton for punishment! Earlier in the year he did something similar for their 40th wedding anniversary and arranged several surprises for her at great expense to his ears, but I think he loves seeing her gobsmacked expression every time and “reaping the rewards” (LaLaLaLaLa I don’t want to know what he means by that!)

It goes without saying that dad hit the jackpot with his choice of hotel and all the little flourishes he had arranged, and she was spoilt rotten, but the best birthday present that she received this year, in mum’s opinion came as a surprise to everyone and mum was not the only one to be left with tears in her eyes once the unexpected gift was given.

My sister lives within minute of my parents and is an exceptional cake maker and has always in the past made the family cakes, but this year the boys took advantage of my parents being nearby to make their own birthday cake for mum and have it delivered to her hotel as their own surprise, which she loved, even if it had so much chocolate in it my dad could only eat a slither of it before he started to feel a little woozy (he is diabetic), but it was lovely for her to receive a handmade cake from the boys. She is used to my niece and nephews doing this for her every year.

cake1

No! Her present was a gift from Buzzbee and something she has been waiting for since the first day she met both the boys. It is also a gift that Buzzbee does not even realise he has given her.

Yesterday, when my parents came over to collect their dogs, Buzzbee was playing in his bedroom after working hard all morning on ‘space’ worksheets he is using for part of his home education project. As with anytime they visit, mum called up the stairs to say ‘Hello’ but instead of the usual ‘Hi!’ response being called back, she was greeted with “Nanny!!!!!!!!” and what can only be describe as the sound of a herd of full sized elephants coming thundering down the stairs before LEAPING into her arms and giving her the biggest hug and kiss he has ever given her – I guess you can work out the reason now for the happy tears.

To some that may sound like a perfectly normal response from a grandchild excited to see his nanny but for Buzzbee this is HUGE. It has only been in the last year that Buzz has begun to agree to give her a hug if she asks for one when saying ‘goodbye’ – before then she has had to shake hands like Buzz does with my dad.

As for my mum! Well in her words “no amount of beautiful flowers or fancy presents could ever beat the present Buzzbee has just given me. He has allowed himself to show me how much he loves me!” (she has never been under any illusion that either of my boys are fond of her and dad, but being a ‘cuddly’ kind of nanny, it has killed her at times to have to respect the boys limits and resist the urge to just scoop up either of them and give them a ‘nanny squeeze’).

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Don’t you want me baby?

This weeks’ #WASO theme of ‘rejection’ is a difficult topic for me. At the best of times, I struggle not to take it personally when the boys try their hardest to keep me at bay but, when it comes to the damage that has been caused by previous professionals believing that the relational, attachment and behavioural difficulties with Beeswax were down to my responses to him, and that I was using his previous history as an excuse to keep him at bay….. (enough!!!)

Over the past couple of months there have been some significant and memorable changes in the hive. Some have been happy and some bittersweet.

At the moment so many people are expecting us to be bathing in the light of the finalisation of the adoption order and being the happiest we have ever been, but there is a part of me that still doesn’t seem to be able to quite reach the dizzy heights that maybe I should be striving for.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am over the moon and couldn’t imagine anything more amazing than being able to say they are “Our Sons” and our celebration party recently was more than I could have ever possibly wished for or imagined happening.

So what is holding me back? Or should I say ‘why don’t I feel able to fully commit to the excitement of it all being finalised and legal’?

After a couple very difficult weeks with Waxy, I have found myself reading back over entries in my old diary desperately searching for an answer and torturing myself with the knowledge of how much blame I put on myself for the relational difficulties between Beeswax and I.

We have come so far as a family and I have much more self-awareness of my own triggers and reactions. While reading my diary it occurred to me that there is one area that has barely changed and I fear never will – and that scares me.

Waxy’s need to reject me the moment he senses we have had a glimmer of an emotional connection.  It scares me that I will never be good enough for him.  No matter how much he openly declares that he hates his birth mother and “never wants to set eyes on her ever again”. I have accepted that there is a very strong primal connection between them and that it controls his relationship with me. Although we know very little about his early years’ experience or his relationship with birth mum, every day he is home I feel the impact of his early years loss and his feelings of rejection and I am often left feeling that it doesn’t matter what I do or say, I can never win, because he simply cannot trust that I wouldn’t let him down if he allowed himself to get close to me. As a result, over the years, he and I have slowly become more and more disconnected on the surface as we both slip into self-protection mode (subconsciously both boys will always show me when they really need me to be their mum).

I wrote a post recently about how while both boys used to stay with Bumble and I on respite, Waxy was unconsciously claiming us and that he had a strong desire to have a forever family but the realities of this have proven to be very painful for him and all around him.

I have always tried to explain to onlookers who are unable to understand the dynamics in our relationship that I am living with 2 real life push-me-pull-you’s and that I accepted a long time ago that this may always be the way my sons relate to me.

But, who am I trying to kid? It kills me every time the boys feel the need to push me away and keep me at arm’s length.  I constantly strive to not take it personally but fail every time.

If I am lucky I manage to avoid letting the boys see it affecting me, but, being someone who is known for wearing her heart on her sleeve, I pretty much suck at doing this.

Enough of that Honey!  I am not sitting here writing a post that sounds like a pity party for one.

As the boy’s primary carer it is difficult when they feel the need to reject my attempts to create a relationship with them and it is bloody hard sometimes but I do ‘get it’, well I hope I ‘get it’ which in turn helps me to depersonalise it when I am strong enough.

Several readers will know that Beeswax attends a specialist EBD boarding school during the week and this decision was made as a result of his bravery in admitting that the intimacy of living in a family 24/7 was too hard for him.

His fear of abandonment meant that he went to great lengths to make sure that he couldn’t begin to feel something for me or believe that I wanted to love him.  He is so hurt and angry that allowing himself to feel safe enough to contemplate trusting another mum is still too much for him to handle.

It is easy for me to say that I hope that I will never let them down, but I have no right to expect my boys to trust me, but I won’t stop trying to gain that trust.

It is funny really, but if I think hard enough about it. There has been so many times over the years where, although it would kill Beeswax to admit it, he has shown me that he loves me in his own weird way.

I read a quote recently that went something along the lines of – “Rejection is difficult to deal with, especially if you are singled out as the recipient of your child’s rage. But, there is every reason to hope that a strong attachment will happen. And you must remember, falling in love is a process, not an event. Tolerance usually precedes acceptance. One day you are ‘persona non grata’ and the object of your child’s rage and then you are mummy dearest”.

(I only wish I could remember where I read it or who wrote it so I could credit them for this)

"That's close enough"

“That’s close enough”

 

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

How? What? When? Why?

I think I am going to give ‘Half-term’ a new name in the Hive. I am going to call it “How? When? What? Why? Week”! Ok I know it is the Easter Holidays but these 4 little words are overtaking my days at the moment and I am as guilty as both boys for using it.

  • “How many times do I need to repeat myself before you do as I ask”?
  • “When will you two stop fighting and just get along”?
  • “What have I told you about teasing the dog”?
  • “Why did you tell your brother, you hate him and don’t want him around anymore? When we both know he is the most important person to you”!
  • “How come he can say ‘sorry’ to you and you accept it but I simply say ‘sorry, NOW CAN I GO BACK ON THE COMPUTER?’ and you are still cross with me”?
  • “When are you going to get us our snack”?
  • “What is in it for me if I tidy my bedroom and put my clothes away”?
  • “Why can’t we play on the computer at 8am in the morning”?

Ok these are some of the more tense comments (there are lots of lovely therapeutic ones too) but you can get a picture of my days at the moment.
I am always being told off by Bumble or Buzzbee’s previous therapist, Jemima for being too hard on myself and using ‘I should have been able to…’ to further beat myself up. However last night I got myself into an emotional pickle and couldn’t get “How? What? When? Why?” out of my head. So, I found myself writing the following at 2am in the morning simply so I could settle down for the night!

  • How can you anyone be expected to heal from scars you cannot see if they still feel they are being blamed for it happening? When will they understand there is no magic wand to fix what happened? Why won’t they accept that you are doing the best you can and slowly you are getting there?
  • How can you begin to learn to trust again when so much damage has been caused and you are afraid of what would happen if any more pebbles were thrown into the pond? Why is this so difficult for you to understand?
  • Why does everyone feel the need to jump to conclusions about someone’s abilities as a mum anytime they have a ‘wobbly’ day? When will they stop blaming your past history of depression for the reason that you are feeling teary today? (It has been a stressful, emotional filled day THAT IS ALL!) How can we help them accept that some days we have the right to feel upset? It doesn’t mean we are about to fall apart again! What would you do in our shoes?
  • What makes people think that because your child did not come from your womb, they have the right to criticise or interfere with your parenting? How dare they? Why do I let other people’s opinions get to me? When they have walked a month in my shoes, then they can come to me and say they have the right to judge!
  • When will I stop trying to be Supermum and let people support me? How can I expect people to understand where I am coming from, when I still don’t feel safe enough to be open with them?
  • Why do people refuse to look beyond my boy’s behaviour? When will they start seeing the amazing boys I see? How can I help this happen? What will it take?
  • When will school understand, I am not the enemy? How can I make them see all we want is to work as a team? Why do they refuse to take on board our advice but then accept wholeheartedly EXACTLY the same advice from professionals?
  • When will I stop feeling that I have to justify my every decision to people?
  • Why do I keep smiling while my heart is breaking?
  • What can I do to make people understand? I am the boys’s mother and no matter what they throw at me, I will never give up on them. I LOVE THEM UNCONDITIONALLY!
  • How do I keep going?

This list I think would have gone on forever if I hadn’t finally fallen back to sleep. Sometimes I really do wind myself up by worrying about things I have absolute no control over?

Time to treat myself kindly and eat mountains of chocolate Easter Eggs, I think!

(Sshhh! Don’t tell the boys!)

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out